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Customer Value Driven Service Innovation: Identifying service opportunities in the residential heating market based on customers´ value preferences
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today´s industry there is an ongoing trend, where many companies are shifting focus from only delivering products to also offering services to their customers. Services can bring advantages, such as higher margins, competitive advantage, stabilized cash flow and strengthened customer relationships. A company that traditionally has had a strong product focus, but where services now have attracted their attention is Bosch Thermoteknik AB, active as a manufacturer in the heat pump business. In the market, which has been more and more competitive and where customer requirements are extended, it could be difficult for the company to only build on technical innovations. The aim of this thesis is thus to identify service opportunities in the heat pump business based on a customer value perspective, and proposals of how integrated service concepts may look like for Bosch Thermoteknik AB are presented.

To answer the purpose, 12 semi-structured customer interviews were performed in order to identify factors contributing to customer value in the business of residential heating. Additionally, an investigation of what kind of services that are offered in the heating market was performed in order to contribute to inspiration for integrated service solutions for Bosch Thermoteknik AB.

The customer interviews show that the most important value dimensions to customers are a reliable heat pump operation generating desired comfort, a system that manage itself and not require time and effort to manage, a high quality product and low operation and investment costs. Additionally, customers value knowledge to be able to handle the system in order to reach their expectations on the heating system. Many of the identified values are fulfilled to customers, however not always the latter example, especially not to those who move in to their first house where there is a heat pump installed. Regarding the investigation of different concept in the market, leasing of boilers, pay per heat unit, monitoring contracts, customer education and heat analysis where all found and contributed with inspiration in the study. The leasing concept and pay for heat were mainly marketing as an escape of a high investment cost, but since the investment cost was not seen as a big barrier for customers in this study and they were rather afraid to lose money in the long run, these solutions were not included in the recommendations for Bosch Thermoteknik AB. However, customers agreed that both solutions have advantages, such as get rid of hassles and risks especially regarding unpredictable costs.

Three concept proposals were finally selected, which are Nyinflyttad, Tryggheten och Säkerställan. The first concept, Nyinflyttad, aims to give new house owners a secure feeling, where they helped by a service and education, get information of the condition of the system and get knowledge about how to handle it. Tryggheten, is rather targeting customers who need a new heat pump. Customers are here offered extended monitoring indicating problems in an early stage and additionally they are offered guidance to do easier measurements themselves. In the last concept proposal, Säkerställaren, customers are offered a heat analysis, in connection to the heat pump purchase, in order to take a more holistic perspective on the heating included both the heat pump and identification of heat loses from the house. Important to mention is that these proposals are only first drafts and there are still many aspects to investigate, not least the economic aspect as well as the organizational aspect, in order to provide the services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 100
Keywords [en]
Service innovation, Integrated service solution, Customer value, Residential heating
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138624ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A—17/02899—SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138624DiVA, id: diva2:1112376
External cooperation
Bosch Thermoteknik AB
Subject / course
Project, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-09-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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